Jane's Addiction - John Anson Ford Theatre - 10/3/11
Better than...helping your kids with their math homework
"I'm a bit better dressed than the last time I was here," Jane's Addiction's lead singer Perry Farrell told the sold out audience at the John Anson Ford Theatre in Hollywood last night. "Last time I was here I probably -- no I definitely -- looked like shit."
But while Farrell seems to have gotten his act together in the 22 years since the band had last performed at the Ford, the intimate crowd of just over 1200 folks appeared to have not let go of their youth.
Generation X was out in full force, and they clearly weren't fearing having to go to work hungover in the morning. Ladies dusted off their skimpy leather outfits -- so what if they may have been a wee bit too small for them these days? -- and the beer and pot were flowing.
Original members Farrell, Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins, along with current bassist Chris Chaney, were performing the first of two sold out performances. The last time Jane's played here was in 1989, when they played 7 straight nights; a defining moment of their career. These new shows are part of a three city, six-date small venue tour, retracing their steps when they were promoting Nothing's Shocking. It concludes with the release of the outfit's first record in eight years, The Great Escape Artist.
Jane's gave the fans what they wanted for most of their 75-minute set, playing only four songs on albums other than Nothing's Shocking or Ritual de lo habitual.
"The last time we were here, well, I don't think we remembered much of it," Farrell said, laughing. "Well at least I know Dave didn't." (Wow! It appears Ferrell read our interview with him yesterday.)
Songs like "Three Days," "Mountain Song" and "Ted, Just Admit It..." sounded as strong live as they did when they were first released. Farrell and Navarro played off each other like an alt-rock version of Jagger and Richards. Still, there were some minor disappointments, like a sloppy version of "Been Caught Stealing" and the uninspired "End To the Lies" -- off their upcoming album -- which gave many fans the opportunity to grab beers or use the toilet.
Farrell was entertaining and engaging throughout the night, but the 52-year-old singer can't hit the notes like he used to, perhaps owing to all of the drugs over the years. Nonetheless, on a night when both the group and their fans were able to take a trip down memory lane, it was without a doubt a memorable show.
Personal Bias: I arrived with low expectations, but left feeling much better about the band's legacy.
Random Notebook Dump: I nearly choked on confetti during "Stop!"
Set list below.